Right. There was once, as there usually is, a boy-wizard, whose name was Master Draconis Black Malfoy.
Draco (for short, even though he was growing up quite tall and all around fit, with a most fab arse in particular) was a fairly unpleasant young man who somehow managed to be even more unpleasant if he didn't get his way. And so it was that family and acquaintances (as Draco didn't have what one would normally call "friends") had learned to deal with his frequent and sudden mood swings.
For example: he didn't like to work very hard, nor did he like being told what to do. He didn't like Herbology (allergies) or other blond boys (always boring), he detested dill (so common) and he couldn't stand losing (for obvious reasons).
Quiet, you're ruining it. And don't sulk.
Oh, but there were plenty of things he did like. Reading, for one -- although he did prefer to be read to, it was just most people had such grating voices that he'd rather just sit in solitude. He also liked Potions (capability for mass destruction), brunettes (instant colour coordination), nice tits (although he could take or leave the girl attached) and Green and Black's Hot Chocolate (for obvious reasons).
In all fairness, he might have grown up fairly placid if a bit spoilt if it hadn't been for his father, who went by the name of Lucius Malfoy. Lucius was, for lack of a better term, something of a twat, and made sure his son followed in his footsteps.
To this end: Draco was taught that he was of a certain station -- a Pureblood Wizard -- and there were things that Pureblood Wizards did and did not do (true Purebloods, that is, not like those Weasleys, who acted like commoners and were not very clever, or wealthy or particularly attractive -- word was a wolf, big and bad, had got to one of the younger of the brood, but there was some nonsense with a wood-cutter that I'm sure you'll agree is a bloody shame). Working hard at anything was one of these things that Malfoys simply did not do, because they were supposed to excel without trying.
To Draco, this meant a) skating by in most of his endeavours b) geting laid on a regular basis c) generally alerting all around him as to his very obvious brilliance and d) devising ways to get extra pudding
At seventeen years of age, Draco may not have been well-liked or well-rounded, but he was quite well-off and well-groomed, and certainly, there was this whole business of getting branded and drafted into a war on the Side of Evil or some-such, but he felt quite sure that when the time came he would be good at that, too. The idea wasn't exactly appealing, but neither was spinach and that was apparently good for your complexion.
Not that he needed it.
On the particular day that our story begins, Draco was in the garden, taunting the aggravated aspidistra when he had two very unexpected visitors.
One introduced himself as the Faerie Snape, who had quite an elegant roman nose but ruined the effect by scowling all the time and using too much conditioner, making his hair rather limp and unmanageable.
"I can help with that," said Draco, rubbing a lock between his thumb and forefinger, but the Faerie Snape smacked his hand away and tossed his hair back, where his leathery wings lay twitching against his shoulders.
"Don't," Snape said, in a manner that was rather more put-upon than outwardly annoyed.
Draco huffed and Snape rolled his eyes and a generally pissy mood began to brew.
The other called himself the Faerie Dumbledore, and his nose was less elegant and more hooked but he ruined it by smiling all the time and using too little conditioner, which, in turn, made his hair crackly and dry, frizzing about wildly.
There was a pause. Draco wrinkled his nose. Some people were just beyond help.
"It really should be the Faerie You-Know-Who here instead of my current companion," Dumbledore said pleasantly, his eyes crinkling infuriatingly at the edges. "But his diary is quite full this week."
"Besides, this is much more of a real world assessment of choice, don't you agree, Albus?"
The Faerie Dumbledore looked at the Faerie Snape and the Faerie Snape sighed heavily. "Don't you agree," and here he ground his teeth a bit, his voice very strained, "Faerie Dumbledore?"
"I do, indeed!" the Faerie Dumbledore said heartily, and his thin moth wings fluttered, sending up wisps of fine white powder.
Draco conjured a lawn chaise into which he proceeded to throw himself, crossing his arms over his chest. "Can we get to the point?" he said irritably, even though he had nothing else to do. It was the principle of the thing.
The Faerie Snape pulled his wand from the sleeve of his robe and held it aloft, saying in a very bored tone, "Vicis sumo!" Nothing happened, but it all looked very official.
The Faerie Dumbledore went first. "In my house, the Castle Hogwarts," he said, "you will learn the value of a life, and how to balance work and play. All my students are looking for something, and although I know the answers they seek most of the time, I would never dream of telling them. We rise early, go to classes, study hard, and will contribute greatly to Muggle-Wizard relations. There are always lots of chocolate frogs, although I get to eat my fill first--"
"Oh, for heaven's sake," the Faerie Snape interrupted, shoving the Faerie Dumbledore aside. "In my house, the Castle Buttercup, you will basically be running the show, you will get to do whatever you want and people will follow you anywhere. You won't have to study extraordinarily hard, because you already excel at Potions and that's the only thing I care about, anyway. Also, you won't have to deal with Harry Potter, the Giant-Who-Lived."
The Faerie Snape had captured Master Draco's attention. Far and above any of Draco's other intense dislikes, he hated the Giant-Who-Lived with a burning passion. Even thought he belonged to the Faerie Dumbledore's Castle, Potter didn't have to work at anything, flouted all the rules, was fairly decent at Herbology, sullied the name of fine brunettes everywhere, and always, always beat Draco. At everything.
He gritted his teeth.
"Let me guess," Draco said slowly, although there really was no choice at all, "you live in two separate directions so I have to choose who I'm to go with first."
The Faerie Dumbledore laughed heartily. "No, dear boy, we're neighbours, but neither of us wants sloppy seconds."
Draco curled his lip. "Foul."
"So if you'll come along..." The Faerie Snape held out a hand (long and laden with silver rings, an odd little vanity, seeing as he couldn't even be bothered to shine his shoes before he left his castle) and there was a large brass key lying in his palm.
Draco shrugged. If he didn't already know he would avoid Potter at all costs, the quirk of the Faerie Dumbledore's very pink and very naked looking mouth within his great, white beard would have made up his mind, because it was really creeping him out.
He curled his fingers around the key, and there was a violent tug behind his navel before the world tipped and turned and went to black.
When he regained his sense of balance, he was within the Castle Buttercup.
He had supposed it was something of a code-name, but if it was it wasn't a very good code name, as it was engraved in very ornate scrollwork above the door.
The Faerie Snape Apparated with a great Crack! a moment later and he flipped his robes out of the way, moving behind a mahogany desk. "Now that that's out of the way," he said, "I'd like to get started training you as my apprentice."
Draco looked around more carefully and saw they were in the Potion-Faerie's laboratory. "Wait," he said sharply.
"You'll need to be prepared, Draco," the Faerie Snape went on, as though Draco hadn't spoken. "I know you think your father will--"
"My father?" Draco let his wand slip comfortably into his hand and he levelled it at the Faerie Snape. "What is this all about?"
"I don't like it any more than you do, but Potter will be here any--"
"Potter!" Draco snarled. "This isn't at all what you said it would be!"
The Faerie Snape steepled his fingers in front of his chin. "Well," he considered, "No, I suppose it's not. But you wouldn't have come with me if I had told you what it would really be like."
Draco gaped at him. "Wasn't that the whole point of the exercise?"
The Faerie Snape rippled his wings irritably. "It would have been, had it been an exercise, but since it is not and it is real life--"
He cut off when Draco arched a brow and flicked at the tip of one long wing. It snapped away from his touch.
"You can't keep me here," Draco said, gripping his wand tightly.
"No, I cannot," the Faerie Snape replied. "But, really, Draco, you have no other choice."
"Master Draco," Draco snapped and Disapparated, with a rather lame Pop?, as he hadn't really been practising it much between all the sex and HobNobs.
"Honestly." Draco huffed as he Apparated at the Manor. It was empty and just as well. He didn't want to hear about the war or You-Know-Who or Harry Potter the bloody Giant. Ever again.
Hours alone turned into days, and Draco found that being non-committal was working out quite nicely for him when people called round to see what was going on. He heard about the first strike of war, but he could have worked that out for himself, given the extra dinner parties his mother was holding.
His father was most likely off somewhere Crucio-ing someone who meant nothing in the long run, and the Faeries Snape and Dumbledore were possibly licking the Giant-Who-Lived's arsehole. He wasn't sure which was more of a waste of time. Or more fun. He shoved that thought aside to ponder later.
He was just getting up to get himself another cup of some extravagantly-named tea when a huge hand smashed through the side of the Manor, grabbed Draco round the waist and hauled him out.
"The fuck?" he said indignantly before the very Giant-Who-Lived himself raised Draco to eye-level.
"You tell me what the fuck, Malfoy," he snapped in what should have been a booming voice but was really far too much of a jaggedy tenor for a giant.
"Potter," he tried to reason, but Potter's long, awkward strides (as his body still hadn't caught up with his huge appendages and he tended to trip over his feet, making Draco wonder how big he would have got if not for the whole living in a cupboard rumour) ate up the ground, jarring his teeth together and aggravating his sinuses.
He was carrying them, Draco sighed in realisation, back to the Castle Hogwarts.
"Now look here. Potter. You came to see, and I use 'see' very loosely, me. How it usually works is I say 'what the fuck' and YOU FUCKING UNHAND ME."
Potter dumped him unceremoniously onto his own (private!) Quidditch pitch, which had to be installed for him as he grew. "I know you've been working for them," Potter said and crossed his weirdly skinny arms across his barrel chest.
Draco tried not to snigger at Potter's ridiculous physical inconsistencies since he really wasn't in a sniggering position. "I'm not working for anyone, Potter, that's why I left this mockery."
Potter poked at him with a fingertip that was possibly the size of Ireland. "I know you're lying."
"You don't know anything. Now piss off."
But the giant was firmly ensconced in one of his famed Refuses-to-Listen-to-Anyone snits, and he picked Draco up in his great and grubby hand, carried him to his Quidditch shed and threw open the heavy wooden doors with a bang.
"Are you going to eat me?" Draco asked, examining his nails in as bored a way as he could, dangling as gracefully as possible from Potter's thick fingers.
"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" Potter leered. He had a gap in his teeth, which Draco told himself he found fascinatingly unattractive. "You can imagine that Ron wanted to gut you straight away. But I hear Malfoys are much better after a good beating." And he hung Draco on a peg next to his old Nimbus 2000.
"Hm," said Draco, because all his conflicting emotions sort of cancelled each other out.
"This is the part," said Potter, as he turned on his enormous slab of a heel, "where you think about what you've done." He stalked out.
Draco would obviously do no such thing, although he figured it couldn't hurt to evaluate the situation in which he found himself.
The straws poking from the end of the broom next to him were twice as big around as Draco himself was, he noted. And covered in cobwebs.
He tried very hard not to think about the spider that would have made those.
Potter had left the doors to the shed open, probably because he was a complete neanderthal. But it afforded Draco a view out into the garden (which was well-tended, damn Potter's wildly-at-odds-for-a-giant nurturing instincts) and into the castle beyond that.
Draco wondered if he was going to die. He always hoped it would be more dignified than this. He thought of all the things he had never done, all the things he used to imagine himself doing when he was a child, the powerful wizard he was supposed to have become.
He wondered what it would have been like if the Giant-Who-Lived, then just a boy-wizard, had taken Draco's hand instead of turning it away. He imagined earning points instead of being awarded them, classes being a welcome part of routine rather than a necessary one, play-hours being much more satisfying with hours of work leading up to them, sleeping the sleep of the content, the cared for.
Draco gazed across the gardens and into Gryffindor Tower, ablaze with red and gold and the smiling faces of --
Ew, no, Draco thought, grimacing at the ghastly outpouring of sincerity they showed one another, their fucking hearts on their sleeves. He wanted to tell them they were only embarrassing themselves and even the Hufflepuffs were glad they weren't Gryffindors, but one other thing to add to Draco's List of Likes was Schadenfreude, so if he was going to die he was glad he could do so with a very clear reminder of who he was not, thank god.
Although he didn't think he could handle being beaten by Potter again. Maybe the giant would just skip that part and get right to the eating.
He did have an awfully large tongue.
Not that he was thinking about it like that.
Before the war started, the Giant-Who-Lived was quite fond of going round to get everyone and their brother to join his incestuous little army. Draco imagined Potter now fancied himself a multi-tasker: while he left Draco to admit he was wrong and/or expire hanging on the little peg, so it wouldn't technically be the giant's fault (the giant was good at getting out of things on technicalities, though you'd think more people would wise up to the fact that he was, you know, like, a giant), he could use his new leverage to do some hunting and gathering.
The Slytherins, Draco knew proudly, were a resolute bunch, and when they were approached by Potter, as instructed by Master Draco himself in the past, they rejected quite thoroughly. Usually Potter would
Master Draco watched Potter descend upon the dungeons from outside. The Slytherins, Draco knew proudly, were a resolute bunch, and when they were approached by Potter, as instructed by Master Draco himself in the past, they rejected quite thoroughly. This time was no different, and when Potter's initial, paltry arguments didn't gain him any entrance, the giant immediately devolved into incoherent and really impressively loud sulking, which included beating of fists and some amount of yelling.
The Slytherins took to the field, falling on him with barbs and sarcasm. And then hexes when that didn't work, since it was always way over his head, which just goes to show you how inventive a Slytherin can be when he puts his mind to it.
Soon the Gryffindors came to Potter's aid, and then there was a general tangle of bodies surrounding the tree trunks of Potter's legs as all the houses and even the faculty came out to watch.
In all the hubbub, as usual, no one noticed when the Faerie You-Know-Who arrived to wreak havoc or whatever and he actually had to clear his throat quite loudly to be heard.
"Avada," he began, when at last the students had quit being so rude, and the Giant-Who-Lived rushed forward, tripped over his great, clumsy feet, and the mountain came crashing to earth, crushing the Faerie You-Know-Who (and several students with him, the price you pay and all that) and breaking the spell that was cast over him.
Also known as his big fat ego.
The Faerie Snape took this moment to Apparate into the Quidditch shed, using his great wings to keep him aloft in front of Draco where he hung on his peg.
"I suppose," he said dryly, "You want a hand."
"Hm," Draco said again, and waved his hands at himself, saying, "Adepto mihi ex hic, pro fuck's sake!" and a moment later, he was standing on the very solid wooden floor of the shed.
The Faerie Snape looked at him.
Draco grinned. "I was tired of always groping about for my wand."
"Did you learn anything from this about the value of honest work?"
Draco bowed his head, remembering his musings on Potter and a simple, lost handshake.
He and the Faerie Snape Apparated -- Crack! Pop?! -- to the battlefield.
He stood tall over Potter, now just a boy-wizard again, even if he was the Boy-Who-Continued-to-Live,-Possibly-Just-to-Annoy-the-Shit-Out-of-People. He was laying on his back and looking even more confused than usual. Draco tried his best to smile sort of apologetically and not stare too blatantly at the fact that while the rest of him had shrunken to normal size, his hands and feet and the significant lump that lay across his thigh under his tattered trousers still looked disproportionally large.
He held his hand out.
Potter smiled back, and reached up to clasp Draco's hand in his--
--and Draco yanked it back at the last second, sweeping it on the upstroke through his bangs, now falling artfully over his forehead. "Psych," he drawled, and smirked at Potter's gape-mouthed stare.
Oh, that was the other thing Draco liked, getting even, even though it was usually hard work, especially when you didn't plan it out at all it just happened to conveniently fall in your lap, because then there was the added strain of having to keep up the charade to all your friends. On the bright side, perhaps tonight he would finally sleep the sleep of the content.
Anyway, it was a start.
And the moral of the story is, Harry Potter has got a fantastically giant prick.
"Blaise," says Draco, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"That is not the moral."
Blaise frowns, flicking a crumb off his sleeve, dropped there by Vince, who had frozen in the act of stuffing a scone in his mouth. "What else would it be?"
"Something about the world not being black or white?" This from Theo, who has his sharp elbow on the table, leaning his temple against his fist.
"Who wants to hear a story about that?"
Pansy rolls her eyes. "The problem isn't that it's not the moral, the problem is that it's not a moral. Full stop."
"Well, it's my fucking story, isn't it, so I can tell it however I want."
Draco doesn't bother hiding his smirk. "Who knew you spent that much time thinking about Potter's dick."
"Like everyone else doesn't."
"I don't," Pansy says, making a little offended moue with her red mouth,
"Neither do I."
Blaise quirks his mouth to the side in that infuriating way he has, his dark eyes hooding. "Please Draco, we all know who gets you off."
Draco's cheeks heat and he bares his teeth. "You?"
Theo snorts and Blaise leans in, puts his mouth near Draco's ear. "And we both know who you're really thinking about."
Vince swallows the too-dry scone. "Who?"
They all turn to look at Potter, and Draco feels the flush move down, beneath his collar, spreading over his chest. "Okay," he says grudgingly, "maybe it is the point."
Blaise moves his hand to Draco's thigh under the table, fingers sliding into the dark space between his legs.
Draco doesn't look away from the back of Potter's head.
"I don't think Zabini should tell the dinner story anymore," Gregory is saying. "They all end the same way."
"They're doing it again," Dean hisses, interrupting.
Ron twists in his seat to look back at the Slytherin table, the vertebrae popping all down his spine at the sudden shift.
"Just leave it."
"How can we leave it, Hermione?" Ron's face is stormy with his newfound understated-but-much-more-intimidating anger, and at 74 inches, Ron didn't need anything else to make him more intimidating. "Wankers are always staring, all of them."
Harry resists the urge to hunch. He knows those are Malfoy's eyes what are the worst.
Dean pokes Seamus in the side to get him to pass the pumpkin juice. "Quit staring back, you great bloody girl."
Seamus shrugs. "Zabini's hot."
Ron make a gagging noise. "Next you'll tell me you fancy Malfoy."
Across the table, Neville catches Harry's eye and raises an eyebrow but Harry is suddenly and conveniently shredding his napkin.
"Can I finish my story?" Seamus asks dryly.
"I don't see why you need to," says Ginny, distractedly, watching Harry watch his plate of biscuits. "They all end the same."
Seamus ignores her. "So Harry Red Riding Hood says, 'My, Ronald, what long, blonde lashes you have.' 'The better to see you with, my dear.' And Harry, not being very bright, doesn't wonder why Ron is calling him dear, and how eyelashes would help you see, although they were very pretty eyelashes."
Harry does hunch now, and he jams two biscuits in his mouth and he tells himself those are not fine, long, blonde lashes tickling at the back of his neck, framing Malfoy's intense, possible death-ray stare. He ducks his head and tries to look behind him without being obvious.
Well. It's not a death-ray. Unless death-rays have become fucking hot in the sexy way when he wasn't looking.
Harry stuffs another biscuit into his mouth for good measure.
At the faculty table, Dumbledore winks at Snape, who pretends not to notice.